WATER CCBSA IS TAKING WATER SERIOUSLY On World Water Day 2022, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa celebrated significant progress in meeting its sustainability goals. CCBSA is committed to achieving its sustainability goals in relation to water savings and helping South African communities to become more water resilient. CCBSA has long recognised its moral and commercial responsibility to use water wisely in its manufacturing processes and also to play a significant role in helping to improve South Africa’s water security. The Coca-Cola Water Stewardship Strategy 2030 is based on the reasoning that water is important “capital” for the company, as it is the main ingredient in its beverages. Globally, the business has adopted a threepronged strategy to water which is focused on regenerative operations, healthy watersheds and resilient communities. CCBSA’s Coastal region, namely KwaZulu- Natal, Eastern Cape and parts of the Western Cape Province, has been very active in taking the initiative in terms of the company’s water strategies. diversify its sources. To this end, it has three out of four sites in the Coastal area which are using at least 1% to 10% of their total water from these sources. At the Premier site, rain water is harvested. At both Premier and Phoenix, water recovery systems are in place while at Lakeside, groundwater is used. All of the sites are also exploring further alternative resources. Globally, the business has adopted a three-pronged strategy to water which is focused on regenerative operations, healthy watersheds and resilient communities. REGENERATIVE OPERATIONS IN CCBSA Regenerative operations are intended to reduce local shared water challenges by complying with Coca-Cola’s water stewardship requirements to prevent water wastage, reduce the amount of water being used and safely discharge water. The intention is also to achieve regenerative water use by reducing, reusing, recycling and replenishing within company operations. CCBSA has water recovery processes in its production facilities, which allows it to reuse water for non-production related activities, like cleaning. It is currently investing in rainwater harvesting and groundwater initiatives to MEET THE WOMEN LEADING CCBSA’S WATER STRATEGY IN THE COASTAL REGION SAMUKELISIWE NXUMALO: REGIONAL ENGINEERING MANAGER FOR CCBSA COASTAL Samukelisiwe started her career as an engineer in training (EIT) at Umgeni Water in 2007. She joined Eskom as a Systems Engineer in 2008. In 2010, she ventured into the construction industry, working for Murray & Roberts as Site Mechanical Engineer and then joined Scorpion Mineral Processing in 2012 as a Project Engineer. By 2015, she had carved her niche in multi-discipline projects from having served Tongaat Hullet Starch as a Project Engineer and later at Sasol Group Technology, as a Project Manager responsible for Capital and Renewal Projects. In 2019, she was appointed as a Senior Mechanical Engineer for Sasol Synfuels Operations: Refining Plant in Secunda, responsible for specialist equipment health assessment, availability, maintenance and performance improvement. As Regional Engineering Manager for CCBSA Coastal, Samukelisiwe is responsible for providing technical leadership and serves as a custodian for legal compliance, engineering standards and drives the company’s sustainable agenda. 24 NOLUNDI MZIMBA: REGIONAL PUBLIC AFFAIRS, COMMUNICATIONS AND SUSTAINABILITY (PACS) MANAGER FOR CCBSA COASTAL Nolundi started her career in 1996 with SABC Radio as a presenter and later joined the SABC Sales and Marketing team as an Accounts Executive. She has over 15 years’ experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods, 10 of which were spent at Coca- Cola SABCO as Group Communications Specialist and later Public Affairs and Communications Manager for Coca-Cola Fortune. The balance of that period of time was working at CCBSA as the Regional Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Manager. Nolundi is currently responsible for the Coastal region.
HEALTHY WATERSHEDS PROTECTING SOUTH AFRICA’S WATERSHEDS Healthy watersheds are about rehabilitation, restoration and protection of the country’s watersheds and catchments. Watershed restoration and protection is aimed at addressing long-term, sustainable and cost-effective water security through nature-based solutions such as clearing invasive plants. Projects in CCBSA’s Coastal region involve the rehabilitation of areas in the Baviaanskloof and the restoration of the Langkloof, resulting in the removal of 1 734 hectares of invasive plants and the replenishment of over 332-million litres of water that would have otherwise been consumed by these thirsty plants. These projects also helped create 116 jobs, mainly benefiting women and youth. ENHANCING COMMUNITY WATER RESILIENCE Enhanced community water resilience is focused on the provision of clean access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities empowering women and girls, who are the most vulnerable in most communities in which CCBSA operates. This pillar also focuses on assisting communities to adapt to the impact of climate change. One example is Coke Ville, a project bringing solar-powered groundwater harvesting and treatment for communities experiencing water insecurity. Launched in 2020, the project has expanded to a total of nine sites in South Africa, with five in the company’s Coastal region, i.e. four in the Eastern Cape and one in KwaZulu-Natal. Each project is designed to provide these communities with between 10- and 20-million litres of water annually. By the end of 2021, Coke Ville was generating more than 130-million litres of water to the benefit of more than 15 000 households. Another key initiative is a partnership with the town of Grabouw in the Western Cape to build skills and support the rehabilitation of water infrastructure through Project Lungisa. South African municipalities lose a huge amount of water through leaks and Grabouw was no exception – around 60% of its potable water was lost. Project Lungisa is transferring technical skills to local youth while providing the community with better hygiene and sanitation. It is also generating awareness of the need to conserve water. In a similar vein, CCBSA partnered with Gift of the Givers to purchase a 34 500-litre water tanker to assist in the distribution of water in drought-stricken Makhanda (Grahamstown). CCBSA will underwrite the running of the tanker for four years and is set to acquire another for the city of Polokwane, which has its own water crisis. CCBSA’s efforts in support of the Water Stewardship Strategy in South Africa show how a global strategy can be turned into concrete results and the practical difference it can make, both in how the company operates and in the life of the communities it serves. 25